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Yet today, we are witnessing a government that is beyond ideologically progressive. Does Obama understand that progressive ideas have consequences, and that governmental behavior often has unintended consequences? It would appear not, as his long train of incompetence and indifference, grounded in progressive thought, keeps picking up speed. It is crushing human freedom, destroying human wealth, and even taking human lives.

Under his presidency, the government saddled us all with a three-sizes-fits-all version of compulsory health care (which caused more than five million persons to lose their coverage and their doctors); it has been spying on all Americans all the time (and we sleepily permit it to do so); it allowed our ambassador in Libya to be murdered (after it destroyed the lawful government there); it told illegal aliens they need not worry about deportation (and thus encouraged the immigration of hundreds of thousands more — even unaccompanied children — to our shores); it neglected veterans to the point of death in government hospitals (demonstrating conclusively that the feds cannot deliver health care); it released assets material to terrorist organizations into the theater of war in the Middle East (ostensibly in a prisoner swap to save a weird military bird who once embraced his captors); it has claimed the power to kill Americans it views as a threat to others and yet too troublesome to arrest and bring to trial (all the while claiming it has a secret reading of the Constitution and American law that somehow justifies this); and it has added $6 trillion to government debt (with no plans to repay it).

What’s going on? The modern presidency is blinded by a conceit that says it can do no wrong. This is partially the result of the passage of power from the states to the feds and from Congress to the president, and partially the fault of a president who relishes telling us all how to live. In Obama’s hands, all this power produces the vast unhappiness and government recklessness we now see every day.

The same Madison whom Obama rejects warned 200 years ago against the Obama mindset: “Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”

 
COPYRIGHT 2014 ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO
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Photo credit: Donkey Hotey (Flickr)

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